The Mighty Celt (2005)
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Critic Reviews for The Mighty Celt
Anderson delivers a note-perfect Northern Irish accent that suggests her days as Dana Scully are well and truly behind her.
Pearse Elliott's directorial debut is impressive, and it'll warm the cockles of the toughest of hearts, but it's ultimately far too black and white.
Audience Reviews for The Mighty Celt
A delightful, yet powerful story. Touching. Heartbreaking. Well done...really could use some subtitles, though.
Tyone McKenna portrays Donal, a Belfast teenager who lives with his single mother, Kate (Gillian Anderson) and has an after school job working for local greyhound trainer, Good Joe (Ken Stott). When Donal sees Joe preparing to kill one of the greyhounds becuase he thinks the dog will only win the races it wants to win, Donal offers to train the dog. A bond between boy and dog ensues and after naming him The Mighty Celt after a character in Irish mythology, Donal strikes a deal with Joe... he can have the dog as long as it wins three races, otherwise it belongs to Joe to do with as he wishes. Alongside this, a figure from the town's past reappears in the form of O (Robert Carlyle) and enters Donal's and Kate's lives. When Joe becomes jealous of Donal's relationship with O, he goes back on his arrangement which leads to tensions exploding between Donal, O and Joe. I found out about this film when I visited Belfast roughly 18 months ago. I went on a guided pub walk and visited one of the locations used in the film (where O and Kate go out for a drink). Once I found this out, I had to get the film and although it is a quiet drama which doesn't set out to change the world, it is a good drama. Gillian Anderson delivers another good performance as Kate and her scenes with Tyrone McKenna are believable of those of a mother and her son. Her scenes with Carlyle are also effective as he tries to break down the barriers of woman whose previous relationship has broken down and whose brother was killed in a paramilitary operation involving O. Robert Carlyle is solid as usual in the role of O. He underplays the character and you do see a man who has become sickened by the violence of the "Troubles" after years on the run, of a man who has basically lost touch with a world that's moved on and a man who is now at peace with himself. Ken Stott is cast as an effective antagonist in the role of Good Joe and it's apparent from the first frames of the film that Joe is anything but good and Stott is powerful in the handling of his final scenes in the film. But it's Tyrone McKenna who is the star of the film as Donal. He effectively builds an on screen rapport with all three leads and with "The Celt". As I said it's a quiet drama but a solid drama which asks a very pertinent question for today's society towards the film's conclusion, who is the braver man - the one who embraces violence or the one who walks away.
Uttelrly SUPERB! There is a rare brutal honesty in this movie. The whole cast is amazing. Gillian Anderson never ceases to amaze me. She is a gem! The scenes between her & Robert Carlyle are so sincere. I was genuinely cheering these characters on. And Tyrone McKenna (in his film debut) was charming as Anderson's son. He was the heart of the film. Life is not a ballet. It's more grit & shit than sunshine and flowers. This movie presents that logic in a straight forward, unflinching manner. It is a must-see. Skip all the other "Dreamer", "Seabiscuit", contest animal movies, and see this one first. You'll be glad you did...
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